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My Way Italy suggestions

My husband and I have done several RS tours in recent years and have absolutely loved them all. We are changing things up a bit this year and doing My Way Italy as the other tours we were eyeing had no availability. We know this will require more planning on our part and we are enjoying looking at different activities we might do in each town along the way.

I’d love to hear what others have done on the My Way Italy tour. We’re looking at food tours, cooking classes, wine tastings, water excursions, maybe time with a guide or small group. What are some specific favorites others have enjoyed? In which of these towns was it really nice to have some unplanned time? We are going in early October.

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Hi Suzanne,
We were booked for My Way Italy in September until recently. We love that RS has taken care of the hotels and transportation, leaving us to plan our time as busy or as slow as we wish. We had looked into several outdoor activities due to Covid challenges and this may seem a little offbeat to you all; however, we love mazes/labyrinths and strive to visit any that we can when in Europe.

Have you considered the Borges Labyrinth on the Venice Island of San Giorgio or the Garzoni Garden maze in Florence, where legend has it that by walking through it ensures a long-lasting marriage (We're celebrating #53!)? There are also remains of an old maze at the Boboli Gardens in Florence. Our daughter is highly visual, and mazes are very easy for her, whereas it took my husband and I three tries before we ever made it out of the Hampton Court maze outside of London! Mazes are fun for all ages!
Have a great trip! I certainly hope we'll be rebooking (for the third time) in the near future.

Posted by
59 posts

These are WONDERFUL ideas. Thank you so much. I’ll check these out for sure.

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2067 posts

Suzanne, we did this tour in May and loved it. Have you been to any of these cities before? We had been to Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome previously, so we were looking to see things we’d missed before. That impacted the choices we made. Our focus was a little different, but I’m just going to list what we booked on our own.

In Venice we booked a Walks of Italy tour of St. Mark’s and the Doges Palace. I wanted to book their Secret Itinerary of those two but I waited too long and the spots were taken. We also booked Alessandro Schezzini’s cicchetti tour in Venice and thoroughly enjoyed both he and the cicchetti ( page 49 in the guidebook)

In Varenna we we booked dinner at It Caminetto. They require reservations and only do 22 dinners a night. However, they also do cooking classes (p. 244). They will pick you up in Varenna and return you.

We just wandered in Cinque Terre. If I was going to do it again, I would have booked a cooking class in Florence. We had been there before, so we had seen the Florence “biggies”, we did make it to the Pitti Palace and Boboli gardens which I really wanted to see. We also did the Duomo museum at our guide’s suggestion, which wasn’t on our radar and it was fabulous as we did it first thing in the morning.

The large family group booked dinner at the farm-to-table restaurant on p. 759 in Assisi. We did our own wandering in Assisi and it was very warm while we were there. This is one place where a guide might have made our stop more cohesive, but we loved the town.

We’ve done food tours in Rome with Through Eternity and thought about the ones through Eating Europe this trip, but the looming test to return to the US kind of dampened our enthusiasm and we’d been in Rome in 2019.
Have fun!

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Our My Way Italy tour is Sept 10-24 and I need to make reservations for guides in Venice and Rome. I worry that I've waited too long already but I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the choices. At least it looks like the weather is cooling a bit. Thanks for recommending a ciccetti tour guide in Venice.

May I ask - where was your wine tasting in Tuscany? I tried to find out from RS, but they said this decision is up to the tour guide which wasn't assigned yet. I thought about a wine-tasting day trip from Florence, but if this is covered between Florence and Assisi, I might go another direction.

For Assisi, our RS itinerary suggests a local bus to a neighboring village - I'd like to investigate this option but worry about the risk of being stranded. Did you consider this? Any suggestions from previous travelers are welcome.

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PS I know it's my responsibility to plan my local tours, but how much "orientation" do travelers receive from the RS guide on My Way tours? For example, I'm comfortable winging it in Cinque Terre and Lake Como as long as I know how to access public transportation (local ferries and trains). Is there any narration on the bust travel between cities?

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2067 posts

Barbwild- we loved this tour! What are you considering in Venice? We did the Walks of Italy tour of San Marco and the Doges Palace. My first choice was the “ Secrets” tour, which gets lots of good reviews, but there wasn’t availability when I looked. We saw plenty on the tour we took. Meeting the guide was easier than I expected. Actually, meeting guides was always easier than I expected. Our guide told us where he thought the best gondola ride could be obtained and actually let them know we might be coming.

We did not have an organized wine tasting, but we stopped in Montepulciano. This stop is indeed the guide’s choice, so I can only tell you what we experienced. Our guide knew a man in Montepulciano that is a coppersmith. Most of us wandered up to his workshop and watched him form some beautiful objects. We purchased a beautiful copper ladle. There was time for wine-tasting and we stopped at Contucci tasting room. I chose which wines we wanted to taste and then ordered a cured meat and cheese platter to go with it. They ship wine.

I’m not sure about the bus to other towns near Assisi. This tour was #2 of back to back tours and temps were heating up, so by the time we got to Assisi it was enough for us to walk the town. One couple in our group walked down to the new town where the church is that has the original St. Francis chapel and then took a bus back up. I’ll keep looking through my stuff for that. This is one place I wish I had paid more attention to restaurant options for dinner.

Each guide is different, but our guide was very available. He would go over how to navigate where we were going to maximize our time and experience. He had office hours in the am, but he seemed to be around a lot and always happy to share his knowledge. Additionally, he pointed out what he thought the highlights would be in a particular location, some that were not obvious choices.

You have the added advantage of traveling at a less popular time. Have a great time!